This was a batch of Farmhouse Mild that had the Pedio in the fermentation blend kick up some diacetyl after I had kegged the beer and before I tapped it. In order to clean this up, I added some extra Brettanomyces, and since I had been wanting to try a beer with watermelon juice, I decided to add that here to provide some extra sugars to jump-start the Brett. I ended up adding the juice from 8 pounds of watermelon into roughly 5 gallons of Farmhouse Mild, and then let it ferment for about a month. The resulting beer had a nice watermelon character, with a nice taffy-like character.
Appearance: Pours a hazy light peach color with just a touch of pink in the light. Big, fluffy white head with good retention, and plenty of sticky lacing on the way down.
Aroma: Nose starts out with a nice watermelon-taffy aroma, and then fades into some slight lactic acidity as well as a bit of plant-like watermelon rind. The latter isn't off-putting at this level, and reminds me of the "green"-type flavor you get from something like watermelon gum. Speaking of, I was pretty shocked how well watermelon taffy/gum apparently captures the flavor of watermelon juice. (Well, at least how watermelon juice tastes after it's been fermented and mixed with saison.)
Flavor: Similar to the nose. Quite juicy and refreshing. It's too bad I'm only a few months late on this one, as it snowed half an inch in the Chicago area last night. (In fairness, I've had this on tap since mid-October, though it's not like it was super warm then either.) Watermelon really leads the way, dominating over any other character, though the watermelon itself is not overpowering. I like the level here, even though the base beer doesn't shine through too much. There's a touch of grain/grass in the background. Though the hops from the base beer have mostly faded, there is still a generic "fruitiness" that I wouldn't attribute to the watermelon, and I'm guessing is lingering from the initial American hops.
Mouthfeel: Light and extremely refreshing. This is something I could drink a gallon of after doing yard work in the summer. Even as I sit here cold and watching football, it's hard to put down. Super crisp with heavy carbonation, it's light and airy, yet the flavor still lingers quite well.
Overall: I'm quite pleased with how this one turned out, especially given that it was an experiment with a beer that had developed some issues. I will absolutely return to this one next year, and this pretty much firms up my thoughts lately that there's no reason for me to brew fruited Berliners when I can instead just go with a session saison and add fruit (particularly when adding fruit juice, which creates a swift secondary fermentation).